We walk through anything to do a cottage security check!

We walk through anything to do a cottage security check!

2014 marks McCormack’s Cottage Maintenance & Security’s  10th anniversary providing cottage security and property maintenance around Lake of Bays.  As they say, where do the years go? I recall starting up on Day One in June 2004 with a customer base of just a few properties to look after. That was a great feeling knowing that there were people out there willing to entrust their vacation properties to my care. Fast forward to today and it is extremely gratifying to have so many more come on board.  We now have properties on Kawagama, Wren, Ril, Echo, Dickie. Tooke and Menominee Lakes under our care as well. We haven’t advertised a great deal – just a few ads over the years so it is all the more satisfying to find that the trust in McCormack’s  is largely based on word of mouth. I grew up watching  my dad Gordon McCormack providing service to summer cottagers through his two businesses – McCormack’s General Store and McCormack’s Baysville Marine - both very successful businesses for many years.  Gordon kept his promises and always followed through to ensure the customer got good value for their dollar every time, on time.  We have carried these business practices on and when you combine my dad’s efforts with ours today,  2014 actually marks 68 years the McCormack family has served summer cottagers.

This Winter has been one of the toughest in recent memory. Certainly the day to day temperatures have been much lower on average than past winters. The volume of snow is considerably greater as well. We have been spoiled I guess and this year came as a shock to the system. Ice on the lakes is very well established as evidenced by the much greater thickness. There have been few if any complaints about dock bubblers opening up large expanses of water in January & February – it’s been just too cold for that to happen.

This was a typical snowload !

This was a typical snow load !

We spent a great deal of time this year shoveling cottage roofs around the area – often in minus 20C temperatures. Not pleasant work but necessary for many places. The snow-load was significant this year and shot up dramatically when rainfall came along in mid-winter. Many cottages can handle the weight but the additional load can cause windows & doors to stick and sometimes cause foundation/underpinning damage which isn’t so apparent. Year after year of this has a compounding effect and ultimately brings about maintenance & repairs which might have been avoided or at least mitigated. Why stress the building for the sake of a roof shoveling each year?

Snowmobilers in the area have had a stellar winter. The local Club (Happy Wanderers) of which I am a Director, received a new hi-tech industrial groomer this year and in the hands of talented operators it has performed magic on the trails. Many of you who cottage around the area and are riders will attest to this.

Ice destroyed this boathouse

Ice destroyed this boathouse last year.

Thankfully Spring 2014 is on the horizon and this winter can be put behind us. It is of some concern that we may have a repeat of last year’s flooding. There is so much more snow this time one can only wonder what will happen. It will depend a lot on the speed at which temperatures rise and snow melts coupled with good dam management on the part of the MNR. Not an easy task for them as they have to consider many factors sometimes all at once to minimize flooding – especially for folks downriver in the overall system. However it goes, it is wise to ensure that anything which can float or is loose on your dock or inside your boathouse should either be removed to higher ground or well secured where it is. I saw several small boats and canoes adrift last spring. They probably had been left stored on docks and the high water level literally “floated” them away – even upside down they will go with the flow! If you have a sump pump in your cottage basement, make sure it is operating properly, the drain system  is unobstructed and  water gets discharged well away from the building. I have seen a number of pumps fail usually because they are out of sight and out of mind. They don’t last forever and should be checked. A sump pump failing when most needed can cause real damage and insurance headaches for you.

The lawnmowers are ready to go !
The lawnmowers are ready to go !

On a more positive note, lets look forward to another  great summer on the lake. After a winter like this one I’m sure everyone is keen to get back to their Muskoka cottages and enjoy the days on the dock, in the boat or maybe on the golf course.  McCormack’s  is prepared and will continue to provide our usual services of cottage checks, grass cutting, yard cleanup, junk removal and all the other things listed on our website:    


If you need a hand with a job that isn’t specifically listed, don’t hesitate to ask us. “Odd Jobs” is a very broad category and we’ve had some odd ones! If we are able to competently handle your request then we will. Most things are do-able for us. If not, we’ll refer you. Either way, we are here to help. Talk again soon folks !

….  Dan

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One Response to “Our 10th Year!”

  1. Monica

    Thank you, Dan, for helping us make sure the cottage was secure throughout the winter months. I am grateful you were able to check the gas level and alert me to the need to remind my propane provider to refill the tank! I appreciate your professionalism and reliability.

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